With the bringing forward of the annual budget presentation by Government to October, it has been proposed in a consultation paper published by the Department of Finance that the annual filing dates for personal tax returns, along with the dates for payment of Income Taxes will need to be brought forward from the current completion date of 31st October (mid-November if filing online). Dates being mentioned are June or September.
Representations are being made by interest parties on this matter and all submissions must be submitted by 8th November.
There are serious implications for all taxpayers concerned (in terms of cash flow amongst others) as well as for their tax advisors and accountants (in terms of workload and staffing).
The main points being submitted by the accountancy bodies are as follows:
- There should be no change to either the Payment or Filing dates as specified in the consultation paper.
- The cash flow impact of bringing forward the Preliminary Tax payment date will be severe for Self-Assessed taxpayers. Irish taxpayers already pay their taxes as income arises; they should not be asked to pay tax before income is earned, thus in effect prepaying their taxes.
- Any change in the Filing Date would cause practical difficulties for taxpayers, and for accountants who are involved in the preparation of a significant majority of self-assessed personal tax returns. There are significant matters to be considered such as existing work schedules, clashes with Corporation Tax return deadlines (i.e. 31st December year-end companies must file with Revenue by September each year) and exam schedules for trainees.
- While we respect Ireland’s international obligation to formulate its annual Budgets earlier, it does not follow that bringing forward Payment or Filing dates will improve the budgetary process. If early filing or payment were really necessary, it would not have been possible for Government to formulate its 2014 budget.
Once any developments occur, we will publish these here, in the NEWS section of our website